Nissan Juke Nismo RS – The Ultimate Enthusiast Compromise Car

Need a funky looking enthusiast car? Look no further than the Juke Nismo RS!

Need a car that can do it all? Buy a Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Life is full of compromises.  You can’t always get what you want, and if you try sometimes you get what you need. And in this case the Rolling Stones were referring to the Nissan Juke Nismo RS.  Everyone wants to drive an exotic Italian sports car like the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, but what if you have a family?

Over the weekend I participated in an autocross event with the Capital Driving Club (CDC). The best part of autocross isn’t the racing. It’s the cars.  I get to see all sorts of different cars that people bring to these events.  I saw a 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS roll up to the inspection team…. my jaw dropped.

A Nissan Juke Nismo RS cutting up some cones!

It’s not a car that you see that often, and especially at an autocross event.  It’s such an oddball car.  Sure you could buy a Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST, or Subaru WRX for the same price.  But those cars are a dime a dozen and you don’t quite get the stares that the Juke Nismo RS does.

Why is the Nissan Juke Nismo RS special?

Anything with the name Nismo in it has to be special, right? Exactly, and the Juke Nismo RS does not disappoint. From the factory it has a 1.6-liter turbo four cylinder engine that produces 215 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. And all that power is put down through the front-wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.  And it even has a helical limited-slip to boot! If you want all-wheel-drive you have to opt for the soul sucking CVT transmission and we all know you don’t want that.

Best seats ever? Best seats ever!

The Juke Nismo RS might look funny, but it’s no joke.  It can hit sixty mph in 6.7 seconds and blast through the quarter-mile in 15 seconds. Much of that is due to the sticky rubber that comes from the factory (225/45/18).  Which also helps the car pull 0.88 g’s on the skid pad. And if you catch yourself coming into a corner to hot the upgraded brakes are up to the job to slow you down.  And it has comfortable Recaro bucket seats that even GT-R owners desire.  All these upgrades make it a fun candidate to drive on an autocross course, and let’s get to know the specific Juke Nismo RS that I saw this weekend.

Meet Chris Chhorn and his 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Chris Chhorn and his 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS

I had the pleasure of chatting up Chris Chhorn this past weekend at our local Captial Driving Club event.  When I saw his Juke I knew I had to talk with him and learn the story behind his car.  To understand his Juke Nismo RS you have to understand Chris.  Chris is an enthuasist first, he races almost every weekend and isn’t afraid to drive far.  He has had a stellar car history (99′ Forester with WRX engine swap, 1986 AE86, Mazda Miata, and a 370Z).  Chris was in an accident in is Nissan 370Z and wanted to get another Nissan.   He need something bigger and safer and the GT-R was out of budget so he bough a 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS.

Chris’s enthuasist blood wouldn’t let him leave it stock.  He added an upgraded exhaust, intercooler and cranked up the boost.  Chris told me that his car is making 252 hp and 301 lb-ft at the wheels.  He runs with two sets of wheels: 18×8.5 wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport AS3’s and 18×9.5 wrapped in Hankook RS3’s. He ran 53.00 seconds around the autocross course in the wet.

Chris swapping out his Hankook’s for Michelin’s post race

This is Chris’s daily driver and he loves it.  He says it gets attention everywhere it goes, and his wife loves it.  And that’s what it’s all about.  He has an enthuasist car that he loves and enjoys on the weekends.  Yet, it meets the demands of his everyday life. Thank you Chris for your time and looking forward to seeing you at the next CDC event.  Below is a video from his YouTube channel at a Porsche Club of America autocross event.